March 29, 2021
After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” Genesis 15:1 ESV
God vowed to Abraham that he would be a shield of protection as Abraham left his homeland (and all that felt safe and comfortable to him) to embark on a journey to an unknown territory possessed by hostile people. Throughout the journey, Abraham would have to patiently press into conflicts in order to obtain possession of God’s Promise Land flowing with milk and honey.
In the Ancient Middle East, the shield for battle was designed to protect on three sides. As long as a soldier moved forward into conflict, he was safe. But if fled, his backside was unprotected. Sometimes, retreating is the right call; but when we avoid conflict, we may miss opportunities that can only be achieved by moving forward. Still, we are not alone when we press into enemy territory. Christ, who entered into the fray of battle on our behalf, has given us the Holy Spirit who is our shield of protection.
Father God, allay our fears and strengthen us to pick up our shields for battle, empowered by your Holy Spirit. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling